Meet 'Schmeat': Lab-grown meat hits the grill this month - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 06-08-2013, 12:24 AM
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Meet 'Schmeat': Lab-grown meat hits the grill this month

 

A hamburger patty made from lab-grown meat — or "schmeat" — is expected to be unveiled and grilled later this month at an event in London that is highly anticipated by animal rights activists and other backers.

"The vision for this burger is really to attract support, to attract funding," said social sciences researcher Neil Stephens in an interview with CBC's The Current host Anna Maria Tremonti. "And I'm sure it will because it's a very enticing idea for many people."

Listen to the full interviews on The Current

Stephens, a professor at Cardiff University in Wales, has been studying the ethical and cultural issues around in vitro meat and has interviewed all the key scientific figures in the field.

Among them is Mark Post, a physiologist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, who grew the meat for the upcoming burger unveiling in his lab. The development of the 140-gram patty has taken two years and cost €250,000 ($338,000). Stephens said the funding needed to scale up the process to something commercially viable is one of the biggest obstacles right now on the journey of in vitro meat from the lab and the supermarket.

Isha Datar is among those who hope the London burger event will lead to larger amounts of funding for the development of in vitro meat.

Datar is the executive director of New Harvest, a non-profit organization that raises awareness about alternatives to conventionally produced meat, and provides some funding and support to researchers in the field.

"Meat as we know it today is very environmentally unfriendly," she told The Current.

Datar noted that a large proportion of agricultural land is used to grow feed for livestock rather than food for people. "In terms of food security, that's not the greatest way to go. She added that livestock are also breeding grounds for disease epidemics such as various influenza strains.

Among the supporters of in vitro meat is the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which has just extended its deadline for a contest to produce in vitro chicken meat. Researchers now have until the end of the year to claim the $1-million prize for being the first to bring in vitro chicken meat to market.

Lindsay Rajt, PETA's associate director of campaigns, said, "In vitro meat provides a way for people to be able to eat ethically, while still kind of getting that meat fix."

The cells needed to produce in vitro meat can be harvested without harming any animals, she said, and a commercial process for producing such meat could potentially save billions of animals each year "from abuse on factory farms and ultimately slaughter."

At the moment, however, even Post is far from making that happen.

"This burger that's going to be launched in London is really a proof of concept, which shows just … that something physically can be done," said Datar.

So far, she said, Post has taken cells from the necks of cows and grown very tiny quantities in petri dishes, repeating the procedure "thousands of times" to generate enough for a hamburger patty.

Datar envisions a future where techniques for growing in vitro meat are so advanced that it "could happen in an appliance in our own home" or in a bioreactor at a restaurant.

"Perhaps … it's something like a brew pub and they're brewing an in-house meat," she said. "And we perceive that as being artisanal and unique and exciting."

Michael Noble, head chef and owner of Calgary's Notable restaurant, has a different perception of in vitro meat.

"I don't get it and it scares the heck out me," said Noble, whose restaurant specializes in gourmet burgers and aged Alberta beef.

He's also skeptical about how lab-grown meat would taste.

"There's absolutely no way that you can recreate the flavour of what Mother Nature and the universe creates for us in the lab," he told The Current. "There's no way."

Post admits that no one knows how the conditions of culturing the meat will affect the taste or even where the taste of meat comes from.

And even if it tastes like meat, that doesn't necessarily mean the general public will view it as meat.

Stephens said that issue is fundamental to whether in vitro meat will be able to replace conventional meat, and isn't something scientists have the power to define or control.

"It's something that everyone else across the world, food companies and consumers, are involved in deciding."

 

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/burger-demo-lab-grown-meat-highly-anticipated-192428327.html

 

If this becomes practical/affordable technology, and I really hope so, I will feast hungry.gif

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#2 Old 06-08-2013, 02:16 AM
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......"There's absolutely no way that you can recreate the flavour of what Mother Nature and the universe creates for us in the lab," he told The Current. "There's no way."


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#3 Old 06-08-2013, 03:48 AM
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I think the idea of this creeps me out too much for me to ever want to try it personally, but I hope for the sake of the animals and the environment that this takes off and replaces the way we currently mass produce meat.

"If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others... why wouldn't we?" - Edgars Mission
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#4 Old 06-08-2013, 07:21 AM
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What about for domestic animals???????

 

My cats don't even grill.

 

There will still be cats, dogs, and all the animals in zoos. How about for them? 


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#5 Old 06-08-2013, 09:53 AM
 
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I actually went to a talk about this last year, elsewhere in Wales. I can't remember the name of the researcher giving it or if he's one of the people listed in the article. 

 

Overall my main objection is it perpetuates the idea that we NEED meat and it is the norm and cool to eat it. Although I do agree that it would probably, if done right (some of the approaches discussed in the talk I attended still involved considerable animal suffering), be much better than what we have now considering there is still a huge demand for meat and that isn't going to change overnight (or very possibly ever).

 

What got me was that there was a Q and A at the end and one man asked "Why wouldn't a vegetarian want to eat this?" Oh, only for about eight million different reasons! 

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#6 Old 06-08-2013, 12:28 PM
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We don't need it, if it was made without suffering I would eat it because I liked the taste and it can be very nutritious. If meat is made without suffering it is cool to eat it :)

 

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Overall my main objection is it perpetuates the idea that we NEED meat and it is the norm and cool to eat it.

 

Blobbenstein don't worry about that dude, he's just a dude off the street, he doesn't know what he is talking about.

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#7 Old 06-08-2013, 09:40 PM
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This would be a wonderful solution to feeding cats and dogs.

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#8 Old 06-08-2013, 10:08 PM
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Not to mention ME naughty.gif

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This would be a wonderful solution to feeding cats and dogs.

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#9 Old 06-09-2013, 08:34 AM
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While I'm in love with this idea as a nutritional equivalant for cat and dog and other carnivour animals that are kept domestically, I'm not fond of people eating it.

I imagine it would be cost much more than regular meat being similiar to the idea of people eating "humane" meat now. I don't see it replacing meat for people.

Just like the idea of humane meat being okay only contributes to meat eating in general, I also think lab meat would contribute to that 

 

I've known people to say they eat responsible humanely raised meats and they're all been liars. They eat it on occasion when on sale, the vast majority of times eat regular supermarket stuff.

 

I wonder how many veg' s really miss meat? I loved it at the time, but since giving it up the few times I've accidently had a piece in my mouth I didn't recognie it and wanted to throw up. I had a bite of a chicken Subway sandwish, and picked the wrong fried rice. both times I thought i had something rancid. 
I have memories of it tasting good, but never never wish to have it near me!

 

I relate it to something like knowing someone for a long time and loving them, and then finding out they've been a horrible person that whole time. I might have the fond memories but no desire whatever to see them again.


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#10 Old 06-09-2013, 09:22 AM
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Me too, silva, the smell of meat cooking (my neighbors love to grill outdoors) is not appetizing to me. But I'd love to give it to my doggie.
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#11 Old 06-09-2013, 09:42 AM
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I sometimes wonder if there is a supernatural component to people's pleasure at eating meat......does some of the animals hope and happiness still linger in it's dead flesh? If so, would that be in the lab meat?
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#12 Old 06-09-2013, 10:47 AM
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I sometimes wonder if there is a supernatural component to people's pleasure at eating meat......does some of the animals hope and happiness still linger in it's dead flesh? If so, would that be in the lab meat?
I once read a novel where a Native American tribe had a ritual after they killed an animal, thanking the earth and the animal. They said if they didn't do that, the fear and suffering that happened at the end of the animal's life could be transferred to people who ate the flesh.
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#13 Old 06-09-2013, 11:46 AM
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Although my family does not eat meat. We say thanks for the meal and to the person who prepared it. This is always done at my parents home for a Sunday meal or holidays. smiley.gif
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#14 Old 06-09-2013, 02:53 PM
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I sometimes wonder if there is a supernatural component to people's pleasure at eating meat......does some of the animals hope and happiness still linger in it's dead flesh? If so, would that be in the lab meat?

I would think that the animal's fear and pain, which are its feelings immediately prior to death, would override any prior hope and happiness. Not that factory farmed animals experience much, if any, hope or happiness.

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#15 Old 06-09-2013, 04:04 PM
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I sometimes wonder if there is a supernatural component to people's pleasure at eating meat......does some of the animals hope and happiness still linger in it's dead flesh? If so, would that be in the lab meat?
I would think that the animal's fear and pain, which are its feelings immediately prior to death, would override any prior hope and happiness. Not that factory farmed animals experience much, if any, hope or happiness.

well they might have some hope.

Maybe the fear is marbled in with the hope....could explain the weird behaviour of meat eaters.

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#16 Old 06-09-2013, 04:22 PM
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well they might have some hope.

Maybe the fear is marbled in with the hope....could explain the weird behaviour of meat eaters.

Do you really think meat eaters behave more weirdly than veg*ns? (I don't.)

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#17 Old 06-09-2013, 04:25 PM
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well they might have some hope.

Maybe the fear is marbled in with the hope....could explain the weird behaviour of meat eaters.

Do you really think meat eaters behave more weirdly than veg*ns? (I don't.)

The disconnect that many meat eaters have is weird. Patting their pampered dog while they eat a pig that was tortured her whole life, etc.
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#18 Old 06-09-2013, 04:25 PM
 
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While I'm in love with this idea as a nutritional equivalant for cat and dog and other carnivour animals that are kept domestically, I'm not fond of people eating it.

I imagine it would be cost much more than regular meat being similiar to the idea of people eating "humane" meat now. I don't see it replacing meat for people.

Just like the idea of humane meat being okay only contributes to meat eating in general, I also think lab meat would contribute to that 

 

 

 

Were I more articulate this is what I would have explained in my post. Yes!

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#19 Old 06-09-2013, 09:07 PM
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The disconnect that many meat eaters have is weird. Patting their pampered dog while they eat a pig that was tortured her whole life, etc.

Sure, that's weird, but we all compartmentalize different things. It enables us to live and to enjoy life. For example, pretty much all of us use and waste a lot in terms of resources while we manage to ignore the homeless and the hungry down the street and those dying of starvation elsewhere. The money each of us is spending on internet connections at this moment could be used to save lives, human and nonhuman.

 

It all comes down to where each of us is willing to put on blinders so that we can enjoy what we wish to enjoy.

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#20 Old 06-10-2013, 02:27 AM
 
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I'm 50/50 about this. Like someone has said it would be similar to 'happy meat' and just solidify the normality of eating a living creatures flesh. However, if ALL meat was produced like this it would make a huge difference to billions of animals each year.

I just don't see why people are so unwilling to just eat items that come from the earth and trees!

I certainly wouldn't eat it as I am now a vegan for life regardless of changes etc.
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#21 Old 06-10-2013, 07:51 AM
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I'm worried about the nutritional profile of this schmeat. Meat contains nutrients because the animals ate. They assimilated the nutrients from the food they ate. But how is this meat going to contain nutrients? I think it's retarded. We're already wasting our money on healthcare and now we're going to waste money on growing the stuff that makes us sick in the first place??

 

If people want to stop killing animals, the simplest solution is completely witihin our reach. Yet people are going to try and argue that giving up meat is so much harder than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of years on research and experiment. Humanity's stupidity will never cease to amaze me.

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#22 Old 06-10-2013, 12:16 PM
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I imagine it would be cost much more than regular meat being similiar to the idea of people eating "humane" meat now. I don't see it replacing meat for people.

 

I think the whole idea is that eventually it could be mass produced more efficiently and cheaply than producing animals for meat.  Think about all the resources that go into raising an animal for her flesh, processing it, etc.

 

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I'm worried about the nutritional profile of this schmeat. Meat contains nutrients because the animals ate. They assimilated the nutrients from the food they ate. But how is this meat going to contain nutrients?

 

I'm not sure that the nutrient profile of flesh is all that different depending on what the animal ate, if it has adequate nutrients to grow.  


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#23 Old 06-10-2013, 11:27 PM
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You can't just assume it will make us sick and will have no nutrients. It might turn out to be healthier and more nutritious than real meat considering the process is controlled (this is just a guess).

 

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I'm worried about the nutritional profile of this schmeat. Meat contains nutrients because the animals ate. They assimilated the nutrients from the food they ate. But how is this meat going to contain nutrients? I think it's retarded. We're already wasting our money on healthcare and now we're going to waste money on growing the stuff that makes us sick in the first place??

 

If people want to stop killing animals, the simplest solution is completely witihin our reach. Yet people are going to try and argue that giving up meat is so much harder than spending hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of years on research and experiment. Humanity's stupidity will never cease to amaze me.

 

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

As for me, if this thing hit the markets I would eat it. I don't see any ethical issues at all with eating this. The supposed connections of lab meat to real meat are meaningless to me. You might as well make such a connection with mock meats, designed to taste like meat. It harms no one, it is great, eat it till your stomach bursts :p

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#24 Old 06-11-2013, 12:36 PM
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You can't just assume it will make us sick and will have no nutrients. It might turn out to be healthier and more nutritious than real meat considering the process is controlled (this is just a guess).

 

 

I believe I can make that assumption, based on the fact the meat currently being consumed, meat from animals, is already making us sick in a number of different ways. Why should this be any different?

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#25 Old 06-11-2013, 12:58 PM
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This topic made me think of the end of the story. to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy .... The cows wanted to be eaten .... I do not desire to eat meat even if the cow insisted .... however I am not against anyone who would enjoy lab created meat .... whatever floats their boat and my boat is meat/animal products free smiley.gif
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#26 Old 06-11-2013, 01:48 PM
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I believe I can make that assumption, based on the fact the meat currently being consumed, meat from animals, is already making us sick in a number of different ways. Why should this be any different?

I don't believe that there is any credible evidence that meat, eaten in moderation, makes people sick. Human beings in general can eat a lot of different things, including chocolate cake, fried foods, caffeinated beverages, etc., without getting sick.

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#27 Old 06-11-2013, 10:40 PM
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Fish is pretty healthy. If you can control the process you might be able to get what you want and perhaps improve (speculation on my part). Even if it was like fish meat it would be healthy. If it can be improved upon it might be even better. I don't know anything about the process but it is a big assumption to say it will make us sick. Even unhealthy meat isn't very dangerous if eaten in moderation.

 

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I believe I can make that assumption, based on the fact the meat currently being consumed, meat from animals, is already making us sick in a number of different ways. Why should this be any different?

 

That is great :) I would be fine with people who would choose not to eat this lab meat if it became available. Like you I think it is a preference not a moral issue.

 

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This topic made me think of the end of the story. to The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy .... The cows wanted to be eaten .... I do not desire to eat meat even if the cow insisted .... however I am not against anyone who would enjoy lab created meat .... whatever floats their boat and my boat is meat/animal products free smiley.gif
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#28 Old 06-12-2013, 07:52 AM
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Cato, you honestly believe that animal products are healthful?

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#29 Old 06-12-2013, 08:09 AM
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I'd still never eat that but if it saves animals, let it come sooner.


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#30 Old 06-12-2013, 10:21 PM
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Many fish are. But I, like many vegans, do sometimes eat unhealthy foods, so if they could make lab meat I would even eat lab "pork" sometimes (even if it was as unhealthy as real pork).

 

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Cato, you honestly believe that animal products are healthful?

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